How Deep Does Your Culture Run?
When I arrived at Windsor Marketing Group, I ran an exercise with our teams. This exercise was based on Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”. It focuses on communicating to customers and consumers what is in the heart of your organization. The, “why” you do what you do. I learned to always start with the, “why”. The easier “how” and “what” will follow.
I showed one of Simon’s Ted Talk videos, and then had everyone contribute toward what they thought Windsor Marketing Group’s “Why”, “How” and “What” were.
Eventually, we refined these into the company’s “why”. It effectively captured what we are all about and why we do what we do. Our “why” is;
“We Believe that Everything We Do, Must Lead to Our Clients’ Businesses Success”.
It sounded good, but words are just that, if not backed by actions. The exercise I conducted with our team was actually fairly easy. I suspect this to be because the people at WMG have been practicing the art of truly putting clients first for over 40 years. Doing whatever it takes to bring the next big idea, produce it, and execute it successfully for retailers.
How does a lofty “why” like ours get so deeply ingrained at a company? I ask myself just that, and I keep finding the answer everywhere I look. It starts with the way we train new team members. Everyone trains like an Account Executive in the Sales Department. That’s because the way we sell (which is not selling at all, according to the common definition), is core to our identity. We are not a vendor, we are a marketing partner that you can count on, solely devoted to growing your sales.
Everything we do points back to that; training, our brand image, production technology, communications, and even our facility. All designed with the goal of servicing our clients better.
We use a consultative approach that assumes little, and listens a lot
We have a determined commitment to Social Consciousness – which means doing things the right way, not the easy way. It’s something that clients can be proud to be associated with. We have incredibly high quality standards, in all areas of our work. We focus on being a consistent and dependable marketing partner that delivers what and when we say we will. And finally, we communicate with clients as a partner, going the extra mile so you don’t have to sweat the details. We train and re-train on these processes. And we have checks and balances to ensure the processes are followed.
Our process is a proven, well-honed machine. It has stood the test of time and delivered results for our clients time and time again.
Working within a process also requires internal discipline. That means resisting the temptation to create “one-offs” or “workarounds”. That’s because in WMG’s 40-year history we learned what works and what doesn’t. So, we stick to our processes.
I learned while working to service clients, that these processes were not designed to be self-serving. They were designed to protect the promise we make to our clients to develop and deliver high quality in store marketing elements that work, on time and on budget.
Having seen this in action in so many areas of our company, all working together, I understood why the “Start With Why” exercise was easier to do here than in other places. We know what we stand for. We know why we do what we do. The proof is found all around me and in the processes that make this place run. The fact that I see so many resources dedicated to “walking the walk” made me proud to be CMO here at WMG. Our clients should feel just as good and have confidence that they are working with a partner that cares about their businesses.
Chief Marketing Officer
Steve Thomas is a 30-year consumer marketing veteran, who specializes in building differentiated brand stories that grow businesses. Thomas was previously Chief Marketing Officer for franchise companies Green Home Solutions and Edible Arrangements International, having helped grow the latter to its current position as a major gift category retailer, with almost 1300 locations worldwide. Earlier in his career, Thomas held marketing positions for NY promotion agency b.little + Co., Valassis Communications, and Subway World Headquarters.
Thomas brings a unique perspective to WMG, ensuring that we continue to push to “walk the walk” in terms of client effectiveness and innovation in merchandising. Under Thomas’ marketing leadership, the WMG story of placing clients’ success above all else, is being spread across the nation.
Thomas also serves on the board for Cheshire’s Lights of Hope, a community based charity dedicated to supporting youth and underprivileged in his hometown of Cheshire, CT.